DOT awards $300M in grant funding for truck parking | Big I-70 closure in Ohio

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Jan. 26, 2024:

DOT announces $300M in grants for truck parking

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday announced more than $4.9 billion in funding for infrastructure projects from two federal grant programs.

The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program funding for the latest round included more than $300 million for five truck parking projects across the country.

“When truckers don’t have a safe place to park, we are put in a no-win situation,” said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “We must either continue to drive while fatigued or out of legal driving time, or park in an undesignated and unsafe location like the side of the road or abandoned lot. It forces truck drivers to make a choice between safety and following federal hours-of-service rules.”

The five truck parking projects that are receiving funding are:

  • $180,009,420 for the Florida Department of Transportation to add approximately 917 truck parking spaces across four sites along I-4 in Central Florida, which includes locations in Volusia County, Seminole County and Osceola Counties.
  • $92,883,609 for the Missouri DOT, which will fund three segments of a larger program to reconstruct 191 miles of I-70 across Missouri. The project includes new truck parking facilities and truck parking information systems.
  • $12,287,247 for a joint project between the Washington State, California and Oregon DOTs for a regional truck parking information management system at approximately 54 truck parking facilities along the I-5 corridor in the three states.
  • $8 million for the Wisconsin DOT to reconstruct a rest area located near Sparta, Wisconsin, along I-90. This project will expand truck parking from 16 to approximately 70 spots, replace deteriorated pavement, and construct a new modernized facility with ADA-compliant restrooms.
  • $40,798,046 for the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority to construct a consolidated multimodal cargo facility at Lehigh Valley International Airport with connectivity to the National Highway System. The facility will include a dedicated access road and intersection improvements; a cargo building; direct truck-to-aircraft loading operations area; and stormwater infrastructure enhancements. The project will also create a safe truck parking area, as an alternative to the current practice of parking off-site in unauthorized nearby locations.

[Related: 'Potential adverse safety impacts': Speed limiters, truck parking discussed in Senate hearing]

I-70 closed this weekend in Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio Department of Transportation will close I-70 in both directions this weekend in Columbus for bridge beam setting as part of a larger construction project.

The closure will be in place between State Route 315 and I-71 from 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, through 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29.

Drivers headed eastbound on I-70 are encouraged to use I-670 eastbound to I-71 southbound to I-70 eastbound as a detour. Westbound drivers should use I-71 northbound to I-670 westbound to SR 315 southbound to I-70 westbound.

Firestone Airide's remote/smartphone functionality for adjusting air helper springs

Firestone Airide introduced this month its Firestone Air Command dual-path control for air helper springs. Air Command allows users to control air helper springs wirelessly from either a new physical remote or smartphone app for iOS and Android and is designed to help make towing and hauling easier, safer and more comfortable. 

“With remote and app-based wireless dual-path controls, and robust product offering, Airide will change the way people think about towing and hauling,” said Justin Monaghan, President, Firestone Airide. 

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers
The ALL NEW Rand Tablet
Presented by Rand McNally

Live system monitoring and adjust-on-the-fly capabilities are just a screen tap away, including single- and dual-path controls. When properly optioned with dual-path control, Air Command can inflate left- and right-hand air helper springs individually, helping to level out uneven loads. 

Leveling out the vehicle’s suspension while towing, reducing sag, has more than visual benefits. Leveling the suspension helps increase steering control, levels headlights, enhances ride comfort, balances heavy loads, prevents cargo from bottoming out, and can add trailer braking efficiency.  

Air Command is designed to complement air helper springs for most half, three-quarter, and 1-ton trucks, SUVs, vans and Class A RVs.

In addition to the new dual-path Air Command remote controls, customers also have access to single-path remote and app controls. Easy, no-drill installation is available at any of the 700+ authorized Airide installers in North America. 

[Related: Hotshot trucking retains its fundamental allure]